• Katsushika, Hokusai, 1760-1849, artist, [between 1804 and 1818] 1 print : woodcut, color ; 23.2 x 17.2 cm.


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  • Katsushika, Hokusai, 1760-1849, artist, [between 1804 and 1818] 1 print : woodcut, color ; 23.2 x 17.2 cm.
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How Many Declaration of Independences Are There?

Author: Kevin Mercer

In 1777, Mary Katherine Goddard printed the first official copy of the Declaration of Independence with the names of the signers attached. In comparison to John Dunlap's first edition, this broadside was produced with a level of care and attention that were not possible in the first due to the haste of its production.

Improvements in the type setting included breaking the text into two columns, which made it easier to read. Proper alignment of text, indents and a generous margin made for a more austere presentation.  The addition of the signer's names added human weight and interest to the document, as this was a treasonous offense in the British colonies. Note also that printer Mary Katherine Goddard placed her own name at the bottom of the document, a patriot in the pressroom!

    • Thomas Jefferson, et al, July 4, 1776, Copy of Declaration of Independence
    • Thomas Jefferson, June 1776, Rough Draft of the Declaration of Independence
    • In Congress, July 4, 1776. The unanimous declaration of the thirteen United States of America
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